April 2017 – Spring sputters

Budding trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)

Spring seldom arrives on time in New Brunswick and this year is no exception even though April was actually warmer than normal in Greater Moncton.

The month can be broken into four segments – cold in the beginning, then warm, turning cold again and finally warm again near the end.

A consistent snow cover began on 27 November and disappeared briefly in late January before finally melting for the season by 10 April.

Precipitation overall was below average with much less snow than normal.

APRIL 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 10.5 C

Average LOW -0.8 C

AVERAGE 4.9 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 21.8 C (27 April)

Extreme LOW -7.7 C (01, 19 April)

RAINFALL 42.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 6.8 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Winter returns to the U.K.

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Snow covers a vehicle in Aviemore, Scotland, UK, 25 April 2017 (BBC Weather)


Arctic air has enveloped the United Kingdom with heavy snow in Scotland and northern England and near freezing temperatures as far south as London.

Forecasters say snow in late April is not uncommon and actually fell over parts of the country around the same time last year.

Temperatures struggled to reach 10 C today after a hard frost early this morning.

This cold snap is a far cry from record breaking heat earlier this month when the thermometer climbed to 26 C in southern England and a mild March which was the fifth warmest ever for the U.K.

Record lows in Atlantic Canada 

A light snow cover in NE Moncton, 20 April 2017 (Dearing)


A cold air mass continues to linger over the Atlantic Provinces and numerous record lows were broken yesterday. 

In Greater Moncton, the temperature fell to a new record low of -7.7 C which beat the old minimum of -7.2 C from 1961. 

In Nova Scotia, Halifax Stanfield Airport set a new low of -8.0 C while Parrsboro dropped to -9.3 C. 

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island recorded a new low of -8.9 C which broke the old low of -7.7 C from 1977. 

Newfoundland records could be described as frigid with new minimums in Deer Lake at -20.3 C beating a low of -12.3 C from 2015 and Corner Brook fell to -14.9 C which broke the old record of -8.8 C also from 2015. 

Cherry blossoms brighten B.C. coast

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Cherry blossoms in Vancouver,BC,15 April 2017 (CityofVancouver/Twitter)

Canada’s so-called Left Coast may have the mildest winters in the country but along with that comes a lot of cloudy skies and precipitation mostly falling as rain.

After a colder and snowier than usual winter, Vancouver experienced a gloomy March with the least amount of sunshine since records began in 1951 and it rained 28 out of 31 days.

So it’s no wonder, the sight of beautiful pink and white cherry blossoms is causing traffic troubles with so many drivers and pedestrians stopping to admire them.

The peak bloom is a bit later than normal this year thanks to dismal weather causing the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to reschedule some events.

Keeping an eye on N.B. rivers

Ice jam on Middle River causes flooding, 16 April 2016 (NB-EMO)

Emergency measures officials with River Watch in New Brunswick are closely monitoring the St. John River and say the only area currently above flood stage is near Jemseg.

Even with rain being forecasted by Environment Canada, water levels are expected to remain below flood stage for the rest of the week.

So far this spring, it has been relatively quiet along flood-prone areas of the St. John River system.

Along the Middle River, south of Bathurst, an ice jam created localized flooding and forced a road closure but water levels are receding.

Temperatures surpass 20 C in the Maritimes

Signs of spring, downtown Moncton, 10 April 2017 (Dearing)


For the first time this spring, temperatures in the Maritime Provinces climbed to 20 C and higher yesterday.

In Greater Moncton, the thermometer hit 20.6 C but wasn’t quite as warm as the record of 26.7 C from 1945.

Grand Manan Island was the hotspot in New Brunswick with a new record high of 20.8 C.

Several locations in Nova Scotia were also the warmest so far this season with 23.1 C recorded at Halifax Stanfield Airport although it was much cooler in downtown Halifax.

A new record was set in Kejimkujik Park at 25.8 C which was the hotspot in Canada.

Record highs in the Maritimes

Outdoor thermometer in NE Moncton, 07 April 2017 (Dearing)


Astronomical spring officially arrived almost three weeks ago but it finally arrived in the Maritimes today with record highs throughout the region.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 17.3 C – the warmest high of 2017 – which surpassed the previous record of 15.6 C from 1962.

It hasn’t been this warm since 22 October when the thermometer reached 20.5 C.

The hot spot in New Brunswick was 17.7 C in Kouchibouguac, it reached 16.7 C in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island and 21.1 C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

The highest temperatures in Canada were found in Saskatchewan today with a high of 24 C in Regina.

Spring may finally arrive in N.B.

Snow finally melting in NE Moncton, 05 April 2017 (Dearing)


Good news… spring may finally be arriving!

Environment Canada says the recent winter-like grip over Southeast New Brunswick will finally give way to milder temperatures and rain beginning later this week.

Temperatures will finally climb into the double digits Celsius by Friday for the first time since 01 March!

Localized flooding is possible over ground which may still be frozen and in areas with a significant snow cover.

Another sign of a change in seasons is the return of many migratory birds in Greater Moncton this week with chirping sounds not heard in months.

Snow buries central Newfoundland

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Snow nearly buries two-storey homes in Gander, NL, 04 April 2017 (Twitter)


Residents of Gander might be asking, what have we done to deserve this Mother Nature?

Snow has finally stopped falling central Newfoundland after an exceptional stretch of blizzards which have brought a record 135 cm in just six days.

Drivers were being urged to stay off highways in the region as the plows struggled and often got stuck keeping up with the heavy snow.

Schools were closed for a third day and many businesses and government offices were shuttered.

Meteorologists say Gander now has 241 cm of snow on the ground which is an all-time record beating 174 cm from 2004.

Rain and milder temperatures are in the forecast which raises concerns about rapid snow melt and possible flooding by next week.